On Wednesday (November 8) the US Supreme Court listened to both sides of the debate over whether a federal ban on partial-birth abortions – a controversial procedure also known as dilation and extraction – should be upheld. However the Court will not announce its decision on the ban until sometime late in June.
In 2000, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to reject the ban on partial-birth abortions. However, the composition of the court has changed since that vote due to the retirements of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who voted against the ban six years ago.
Justice Samuel Alito succeeded O'Connor's, and John Roberts succeeded the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. For many pro-life supporters, the presence of these Bush-appointees on the bench is reason for hope, as they believe the Roberts Court will be disposed to rule in favor of protecting the lives of innocent unborn children.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, feels optimistic about the high court's review of the partial-birth abortion ban. "Three of the Justices – Justices Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas – have already compared this procedure to infanticide," the attorney notes, "so if Justice Kennedy sticks to his earlier decision, we will carry the day."
After attending oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Sekulow says he was outraged that attorneys from Planned Parenthood took the lead in the case to keep partial-birth abortion legal in America. He notes that Planned Parenthood gets $265 million a year from American taxpayers, and the organization used part of that funding today to argue in support of this procedure.
Sekulow and other pro-life supporters are calling on Christians to pray that the US Supreme Court will decide against partial-birth abortions and outlaw this procedure once and for all.